Monday, February 16, 2015

Why We Grow Heirloom

There's quite a bit of hype right now about GMO food and how they should be labeled so Americans know what they are eating.  Some feel we are entitled to know if we are eating a GMO product, and others feel that science tells us GMO's are safe, and that labeling will simply raise prices at the supermarket.  Many proponents of labeling cite the many countries that ban GMO's, or require labeling.  See a list (although it may not be complete here) These countries are numerous, but include most of the European Union, Scandinavian countries, some from the Middle East, and Australia to name a few.

So who do we believe? The U.S. Government and the USDA who say they are safe?  Those who cite studies performed in Europe, stating GMO's are bad for our health?  Recent studies that link the rise in GMO's to the rise in diagnoses of Autism?  I don't know.  I'm not a fan of Monsanto and their constant law suits against farmers, that's for sure.

What I do know is this: I'd rather eat food that I knew was not modified for some reason, whether it is to make it more nutritious (it's healthy in its natural state), brighter color, or longer shelf life.  I'd rather eat food that was closer to its natural state, one that pests like to eat as well as me.  I don't pretend to be a scientist, and I don't plan to argue with anyone who wants to throw study after study at me declaring GMO's are safe.  I'm not saying they aren't safe.  I'm saying I would rather my food be in its natural state, unmodified by science and one that I have to combat pests over.

But a little proof...our commercial farm planted a non-GMO corn 2 years ago.  The yields were higher than the previous years with corn that was GMO.  Why the higher yield?  Isn't part of the whole GMO appeal the higher yield?  It's not scientific, but it's enough for me.

Heirloom plants are history.  They are part of the history of seeds that have been brought over by generations of farmers.  I want to carry on a history of plants that many are trying very hard to save.  Many noble companies are working tirelessly to find these rare seeds and work to restore their numbers.  I'd rather help out the folks restoring history than the corporations trying to make money from modifying seeds that do not need modification.

For more information on seed saving, what you can do to help, or to grow your own, visit:
Seeds of Change:
Baker Creek Heirloom seeds:
Seed Savers Exchange:

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